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Seahawks storm past Redskins

2006-07-28 14:33

  Minus the National Football League MVP, the Seattle Seahawks still found a way to finally win a playoff game.

  Despite losing Shaun Alexander to a concussion, the Seahawks ended their 21-year postseason drought on Saturday. Matt Hasselbeck threw for one touchdown and ran for another, and Seattle advanced to the NFC title game by beating the Washington Redskins 20-10 at home.

  The seahawks ended the longest run without a postseason victory for any NFL team - they had been 0-6 since their last playoff win on December 22, 1984.

  Now, Seattle will be home next week against the winner of today's game in Chicago between the Bears and the Carolina Panthers. Alexander's status was uncertain.

  Alexander, who scored an NFL-record 28 TDs this season and led the league with 1,880 yards rushing, lost a fumble without being hit at the Washington 11 on Seattle's opening drive. He was then hurt with 5:28 left in the first quarter and did not return.

  Without alexander, this became Hasselbeck's game.

  Not only did he complete 16-of-26 passes for 215 yards and a 29-yard second-quarter TD pass to Darrell Jackson, but he scrambled around the right side for 6-yard TD in the third quarter.

  “I don't know if it was me. Those other guys stepped up,” Hasselbeck said. “It was really a team win today.”

  That helped overcome three costly turnovers - one that kept Seattle from scoring in the first period, a second that led to a Washington field goal and a third in the fourth quarter that Washington squandered.

  The seahawks (14-3) were helped by a Washington offense that for most of the game was inept for the second straight week.

  The redskins (11-7) had their six-game winning streak stopped. They were inept on offense for the second week in a row - they had 140 yards in the first three quarters after getting a total of just 120 in last week's win at Tampa Bay.

  Washington's last chance ended in the final minute when Mark Brunell's desperation fourth-down pass for Santana Moss was batted down by safety Michael Boulware in the end zone.

  And had it not been for Alexander's early fumble, a muffed punt by Seattle's Jimmy Williams that set up a second-quarter field goal and a fumbled kickoff return, the Redskins would never have been in the game.

  After josh Brown's 33-yard field goal gave the Seahawks a 17-3 lead early in the third quarter, the Redskins finally got going. Brunell hit a wide-open Chris Cooley for 52 yards, then completed a 20-yard TD pass to Moss that deflected off the helmet of Seattle's Andre Dyson.

  That cut the Seattle lead to a TD just 3:01 into the final quarter. Then Josh Scobee fumbled the kickoff and kicker John Hall recovered, but Hall missed a 36-yard field-goal attempt that could have cut it to four.

  Brown clinched it with a 31-yard field goal with 2:54 left.

  After that first series when Alexander fumbled, there were nine straight three-and-outs, five by the Redskins and four by the Seahawks.

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